Marketers of spirits (beer-import company Constellation Brands); plant-based foods (Upfield); and sports/energy drinks (Prime) were the top growth leaders in 2022 in an annual analysis of CPG brands by Boston Consulting Group and IRI.
The analysis covers 589 companies categorized by large (annual sales of $6 billion+), mid-size ($1 billion-$6 billion) and small (a minimum of $100 million to $1 billion).
The rankings are based on three factors: year-over-year growth change in dollar sales and volume and change in dollar share based on a weighted average across the categories in which the brands compete.
Among the 28 large companies reviewed by BCG and IRI, all of the top five had been designated growth leaders at least once since their inaugural rankings in 2012.
As noted, Constellation Brands was #1, followed by Reckitt Benckiser, L'Oréal, Grupo Bimbo and Mars Wrigley.
Among the 89 mid-size companies studied, there were two new growth leaders: personal-care products marketer Beiersdorf (#3) and confectioner Ferrara (#5).
#1 Upfield was followed by #2 Sovos Brands—whose product mix includes pasta and sauces, soups and frozen entrees—and Greek yogurt pioneer Chobani (#4).
The 472 small companies examined had the most new growth leaders among the three size-based categories.
Newbies were the first three on the list: #1 sports/hydration brand Prime—launched in January of 2022 by online-media celebrities KSI and Logan Paul. Ranked #2 was the Ghost energy drink brand launched in 2016, and in third place was Scrub Daddy cleaning products, whose roots date to 2012.
In fourth and fifth position among small companies were plant-based Impossible Foods and Celsius energy drinks.
In a video presentation this week, executives from BCG and IRI were joined by reps from L'Oréal, Mars Wrigley and Upfield to discuss the challenges faced by CPG brands.
Much of their discussion focused on the rise and importance of social media chatter and its nonstop impact on brand perception and consumer engagement.
Upfield COO Jim Breach, who spent more than three decades at Unilever, reflected on the magnitude of change brought about by the digital age.
“Twenty years ago or 10 years ago, you could spend months designing the perfect commercial that you were going to run for 1,000 GRPs, and you could have four professionals spend a lot of time creating those commercials,” Breach noted.
"Now you need to go hire people that can engage in a conversation with consumers on an almost hourly basis. The battle for really good marketing talent who can be authentic around your brands and have really good conversations with consumers is really hard.
“By the way, when you’ve got them, they’re great—and when you don’t have them, it’s a nightmare.”